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Sondergeld named BGSU ‘Outstanding Young Scholar’

BOWLING GREEN, O.—In the field of education, assessment plays an increasingly important role. Dr. Toni Sondergeld’s work is helping to address many fundamental related questions and make the answers available and usable.

An assistant professor of educational foundations, leadership and policy who has taught at BGSU since 2011, Sondergeld was presented the Outstanding Young Scholar Award at the Faculty Excellence reception April 16. Given by the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research, the award is designed to enhance the academic career of junior faculty by providing discretionary funds for the support of future scholarly activities. It brings a $1,000 credit to the recipient's discretionary research account, in addition to a $2,000 cash award.

Sondergeld balances heavy research, service and teaching responsibilities, including serving as co-director of the Center of Assessment and Evaluation Services (CAES), a University-based center serving the needs of large and small grants, programs, organizations, and K-12 schools, districts and agencies.

“Dr. Sondergeld has already built a deep, credible record of research in the areas of education evaluation and assessment, research methods, science education, and school reform,” wrote Dr. Patrick Pauken, director of the School of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies. As of February 204, she had authored or co-authored 14 publications, including articles in highly respected, peer-reviewed research journals and three book chapters.

“A clear strength of Dr. Sondergeld’s body of research is that she has, very early on, developed a clear identity as a researcher and teacher of assessment, research, and statistics,” Pauken wrote. “Her expertise has informed the research of doctoral students at both BGSU and the University of Toledo. Through her work at CAES, she has made great efforts to connect with educational practitioners through conference presentations, district in-services, and assessment/evaluation contracts with Ohio school districts. Her efforts to keep research ‘off the shelf’ are noteworthy and of great utility to those stakeholders.”

She has given 14 presentations at international conferences, including an invited address in Poland, and presented six papers at national conferences.

Sondergeld actively pursues external funding and has, since coming to BGSU, received about $1.15 million, a million of which came from Ohio’s Straight-A Funds. Another $4.15 million in grant submissions is pending.

“Her body of work is very impressive for her short time at BGSU,” Pauken said, predicting, “She has will continue to inform policy, practice and future research . . . . She continues to positively represent BGSU in the larger academic community, playing an integral role in raising BGSU’s institutional profile at the national level.”

Sondergled received her Ph.D. in foundations of education from the University of Toledo, in 2009.